Do You Want an iMac?


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Brandon asked in chat the other night if an iMac is a good investment. I don’t know if I can view any computer as an “investment.” Yes, I think the iMac is a good computer. The issue I see with a lot of desktop computers is that they lose their value the moment you bring them home. The iMac is an excellent machine, to be sure. However, is it really something you need?

I wouldn’t classify any computer as a good “investment,” no. Even an iMac will lose value over time. Get whatever machine it is that will fit your needs, whether it’s an iMac or a Windows machine.

Take care of your machine… baby it. Keep it in good shape and you just may be lucky enough to make a little cash from it when the time comes for you to upgrade to something newer.

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Where's my Personal Financial Analyst?


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MarketOutsider presented their company at Live Pitch 2008 in Seattle recently. MarketOutsider offers you a new way of doing online investment research, which will allow you to use your time more effectively.

MarketOutsider

  • Business Category: Tech Startup
  • Founder: Bryce Baril and Colin Meyer
  • Inspiration for Product/Service: I was tired of wasting my time weeding through stories and headlines to find out what was relevant to me and not just noise or yesterday’s news. My time is valuable and my memory frail, whereas the opposite is true of computers. Why not harness them to do the job for me?
  • Target Customer/Audience: Investors of any type.
  • Synopsis of Product / Service: We offer a financial news personalization service that goes far beyond your average financial news site. Think of us as your own personal robotic financial analyst that tracks the news related to your portfolio for you. It doesn’t just find articles that mention companies in your portfolio; it reads the articles, finds connections, determines if it is good or bad news… giving you everything you need to know in a single glance.
  • Main Company Contact: Bryce Baril

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Track Your Finances Online for Free (without Software)

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In this day and age of investment opportunities available, how do you manage to keep track of everything? Did you know you can track all of your finances online… without software? The caller for this video said he is ready to make a switch to OS X, but is hesitant due to not being sure if there is something he can use to track his finances without being able to use Microsoft Money.

If you’ve watched my show for any length of time, you’ll have heard me say many times that the future of software is online. A couple of friends have recommended a website that you can consider for the future of your financial tracking… Mint. Mint’s tagline is “Refreshing Money Management”.

Mint does NOT store your usernames, passwords or account numbers. Mint partners with Yodlee, the leading provider of online banking services to major banks for more than 10 years, to ensure a secure connection to your personal financial information. Mint protects your information using bank-level data security and 128 bit-encryption, verified by Verisign and HackerSafe. Mint is TRUSTe certified to provide industry-leading privacy protection and partners with RSA to provide anti-phishing protection.

Eliminate the need to manage multiple Web sites to get a comprehensive view of your personal finances. Mint.com connects securely with more than 5,000 US financial institutions. By adding your bank, credit card and investment accounts to Mint.com, you get a complete perspective of your finances in one, easy to use location. Planning your personal budget just got a lot easier.

Once your accounts are added, Mint.com retrieves new transactions and balances from your bank, credit card and investment accounts automatically, every day. This means you’re on top of your money, with no budgeting spreadsheets, expensive desktop software or manual labor required. Mint.com automatically keeps your personal finances up to date for you so you can save more money and focus on living.

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How to Invest Money

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MrBogosity wrote: “I liked your top 5 tips on saving money. One of them dealt with investments, which is really important. He made investment sound like gambling, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Invested properly, it’s the best thing you can do with your savings. So here are my top 5 investment tips.”

  • Keep permanent money separate from mad money. Permanent money is money you want for your retirement, your kids’ college tuition, for medical emergencies, or whatever. This is the money with which you want long-term stability. Mad money is money that you could blow and not worry about, whether it’s risky nvestments, gambling, going on a tropical vacation, or buying lots of shoes. Don’t touch your permanent money.
  • Learn the difference between “investing” and “speculating.” Investing is when you put money into a market in order to get the market return. Speculating is when you think you can beat that and get a better return, with better timing, inside information, or some kind of scheme. DO NOT speculate with your permanent money; only mad money. Consider speculating to be the equivalent of gambling. This also means don’t fall for the schemes that investment advisers try to convince you to follow. Really, they’re about as accurate as psychics–that is, not at all. A disturbing number of them base their schemes on pseudoscience such as numerology, and none of them have been shown to work long-term.
  • Diversify investments. I recommend that your Permanent Portfolio be equal parts stocks, bonds, gold, and cash. Yes, markets are volatile, and are prone to slumps, but not all at the same time. Each market responds differently to different economic indicators. For example, right now stocks, bonds, and cash are all hurting as inflation rises and interest rates fall, but gold is doing VERY well. They usually offset each other, and with a robust portfolio, losing years are rare. I do NOT recommend that you invest in real estate. I have real estate stocks as part of my stock portfolio, but as far as buying a house and considering it an investment, I think it’s foolhardy. After all, if you want to liquidate part of your investment, you can hardly cut off your back porch and sell it. Buying a home should be considered consumption, not investment. Buying a property to rent should be considered a business venture. Buying property figuring the value will go up is speculation. Don’t do this with your Permanent Portfolio.
  • Invest in market-wide funds. For stocks, get an S&P500 fund or some other market fund instead of trading individual stocks. (I have 5 funds in my stock portfolio: S&P large cap, small cap, growth, value, and a real estate fund, all invested equally.) Get a negotiable bonds account instead of buying in individual companies. Get gold bullion instead of collectible coins, so your value will be the market spot price. For cash, a good money market account will be fine, but you can also get accounts in other currencies (such as euros) for additional protection. If you have an IRA or a 401(k), you should have many funds to select from that’ll get you most of these. Unfortunately, very few have gold accounts (gold stocks are NOT the same thing), so you may have to go somewhere else for that. I use GoldMoney.com.
  • Think long-term. Once you have your Permanent Portfolio, LEAVE IT ALONE. When you put in new money, put it in evenly in all four areas (if you’re putting money in monthly, you can alternate months–stocks one month, bonds, the second, etc. to reduce transaction costs). Check it every six months or a year and balance it out; for example, if your money in stocks has increased while bonds haven’t done so well, move money from stocks to bonds so that they all stay around 20-30% of your portfolio. Above all, DO NOT panic and take money out of stocks when the stock market starts doing bad (same with the other areas). Remember, you’re not speculating, you’re investing, and you want the market’s long-term strength, not the fickle instabilities of the short-term. This isn’t advice for the rich, the business executives, or anything like that (although they could benefit from this advice, too). If you do like the other video says and just take $20 out of each paycheck, before long you’ll have a nice amount to play around with. Figure out how much of that you want for your retirement and put it in a Permanent Portfolio. You–and your kids–will be very glad that you did.

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